Originally Posted by orangello
Well, i'm feeling better about paying the $325~ for mine now.
Heh, that's what I have in mine and it's the M model that uses AK mags.
There are a few different flavors if both the SKS and the AK platforms. The main thing they both have in common [to me] is they both are reliable weapons but the thing that makes them both as reliable as they are is what makes them not as accurate as some other rifles in their style of firearms. Both these rifles where made to feed and fire. even if they are treated very rough. They can get dirty, muddy, run over [Don't try this at home] and still work. The parts are designed to fit pretty loose. So crud has a place to go. In doing this they lose a bit of accuracy, especially over long distances. But that is not to say they are not both worth owning and using. Out of the two I find the AKs to be a little lighter and the accuracy is for the most part the same.
A SKS will usually be a good bit less expensive ranging 200.00-500.00 depending on model and what was done to it before it got to you. The average SKS I see in shops price at the lower end of the scale. AKs are the same way but will run around 400.00 on the low end to as high as 1,000 for one that has had all kinds of things added to try and make them more accurate and cool
Either of these rifles are find for hunting and target shooting but you will not make a ragged hole at 100-200 yards. I have hunted with an SKS and know a few that still will use either an AK or SKS rifles and do very well with them. But there are more accurate rifles out there.
It will come down to what you want to spend on your first semi auto lostchild
and just how accurate you want this rifle to be. Cane
mentioned an AR, these are more accurate. They are usually more expensive but ther are ways to cut costs like building it yourself. It's not near as hard as it sounds and if you don't run out and get every mall ninja add-on you can get the cost down considerably.
I own examples of all three of these rifles and I do like them all. Out of them all my AR is the best shooter but I don't have much trouble hitting my target with any of them out at 200 yards [my eyesight wont allow much further].
If I was getting into semi autos for the first time right now I'd probably go to the SKS first due mainly to price. Then work my way up to having them all. Both the SKS and AK are really fun to shoot. Ammo cost is not too bad and they will fit the needs of most shooters looking for a rifle that can reach out to 250 yards easily. Around here you wont get a shot off more than that with the hilly landscape we have.
Not taking away from the AR. They are great weapons and the 5.56/223 is a very good round. But thew OP was asking about the AK and SKS so I stayed mostly in that genre.